Posts tagged "Starks"

Starks v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-072-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11735   TREVELL STARKS  vs.  COMMONWEALTH. April 29, 2015.     Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts.  Practice, Criminal, Sentence, Appellate Division.     Trevell Starks (petitioner) appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying relief on his petition filed pursuant to G. L. c. 211, § 3.  We affirm.   The petition concerns the sentences imposed on the petitioner on June 5, 2012, in the Superior Court following his convictions of assault and battery on a police officer (two counts), resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct.  He was sentenced to two consecutive terms of two and one-half years each in a house of correction on the convictions of assault and battery on a police officer.  He received a consecutive suspended sentence of two and one-half years in a house of correction on the resisting arrest conviction, and terms of probation on the remaining convictions.  More than twenty months later, on February 28, 2014, the petitioner filed a motion with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court requesting that the Appellate Division accept an appeal of his house of correction sentences.  See G. L. c. 278, §§ 28A-28C.  He claimed that failure to accept the appeal would violate his rights under art. 1 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The Appellate Division denied the petitioner’s motion.  His petition under G. L. c. 211, § 3, followed.[1]   General Laws c. 278, § 28A, limits the jurisdiction of the Appellate Division to the “review of sentences to the state prison imposed by final judgments in criminal cases . . . and [to] the review of sentences to the reformatory for women for terms of more than five years imposed by final judgments in such criminal cases.”  The petitioner contends that G. L. c. 278, § 28A, violates equal protection guarantees because it permits both men and women to appeal State prison sentences to the Appellate Division and, on its face, permits women to appeal sentences to a reformatory for women for terms exceeding five years, but has no comparable provision for men sentenced to a house of correction for more than five years.  We rejected a similar argument in Commonwealth v. Alfonso, 449 Mass. 738 (2007), and, for essentially the same reasons, reject the petitioner’s argument here.   The historic distinction “between felony sentences to the reformatory for women […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 30, 2015 at 12:21 am

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